Phoenix New Times co-creators Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are outraged at the recent pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio has been the subject of much debate since his original pardon was issued by President Trump that fell just weeks after he was sentenced for the violations that led to him being in contempt of a previous court ruling.
The article, “The Enduring Sins of Joe Arpaio: Newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin Speak Out in Response to Donald Trump’s Pardon of America’s Worst Sheriff” published on phenioxnewtimes.com discusses the long, corrupt history of Joe Arpaio. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Jim Larkin | Angel.co
From the very beginning, Lacey had been convinced that Arpaio is a political genius. While he hates to give the former sheriff credit for anything, he believes that his early support of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate was made in an effort to protect himself in the future.
When it came time for Arpaio to pay for some of the things that he had done, he relied on that alliance to save him from serving time. While Arpaio has been able to worm his way out of the repercussions of his actions this time, he is no stranger to the courtroom.
In fact, the contempt charge that he earned was due to his non-compliance with the court ruling resulting from Melendres V. Arpaio. In this court case, Arpaio stood accused of racially profiling citizens of Maricopa to increase deportation efforts. He would needlessly harass citizens based on their appearance and stop them for phony violations in order to check their driver’s licenses. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/5-smart-ways-people-and-places-are-resisting-trumps-immigration-policies/ and http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey
Arpaio was found guilty of these practices and ordered to overhaul his department and report to a monitor. In addition, the class action lawsuit paid out more than 70 million in damages. His recent pardon was centered around his failure to adhere to the terms of the settlement.
In addition to this settlement, Arpaio and Maricopa County faced Larkin and Lacey after they were unjustly arrested for posting information in their newspaper and online. Arpaio did not maintain a good relationship with the media giant Phoenix New Times, even going so far as to ban their reporters from his press conferences.
When he saw the information that Larkin and Lacey shared, some information about a grand jury hearing that Lacey and Larking themselves were being called too, he decided to act and had his officers arrest the two men. Unfortunately for Arpaio, this was unconstitutional and a violation of Larkin and Lacey’s rights. They were soon released and sued the department. This resulted in an award of 3.74 million dollars.
Larkin and Lacey used that award to set up the Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund. This fund is aimed at socially conscious programs created for the immigrant population of Arizona.
They wanted to use their money to be part of the solution, instead of adding to it as Arpaio chose to do. In the end, even though Arpaio was pardoned he still leaves behind a legacy of corruption and deceit. One can be happy he is no longer serving as sheriff of Maricopa County.